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SUNY and NYSERDA Launch Offshore Wind Training Institute

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The State University of New York (SUNY) has partnered with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to launch the Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI).

The OWTI will train around 2,500 workers for the offshore wind industry as part of Governor Andrew Cuomos target to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.

“As we rebuild the post-COVID economy, we must focus on up-and-coming industries that are primed for growth,” SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said.

SUNY Farmingdale will work with Stony Brook University to ensure that the $20 million investment made by the State of New York will produce highly-skilled and educated workers through advanced training programs that can support the national offshore wind industry.

“We are poised to start training a highly skilled engineering workforce [in] wind resource assessment, wind turbine and wind farm project design and optimization, offshore wind project economics, public policy, social acceptance and environmental impacts, as well as energy storage and grid integration,” Stony Brook Interim President Michael Bernstein stated in an email.

Renewable Energy, Sustainable Jobs

Currently, there are three wind farms located on Long Island. The South Fork and Sunrise Wind Farms are on the coast of Montauk and the Empire Wind Farm is on the south shore by the East Rockaways. 

Sunrise and Empire are among New York’s first investments in the industry and can produce around 1,700 megawatts of energy according to NYSERDA. The procurement of these farms will cost the state $200 million.

These wind farms, along with OWTI, are concrete steps to attain Governor Cuomo’s goal for 2035. He has previously signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, mandating that renewable energy sources should power around 70 percent of New York.

“Governor Cuomo has taken the necessary actions to position New York as a national hub for the US offshore wind industry, serving as a catalyst to attract significant private investments in the state and create thousands of well-paying jobs,” said NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen Harris.

But Cuomo’s agenda also hopes to introduce more job opportunities and training for struggling communities as well as representing a leap forward to those concerned about the environment. 

One wind farm is projected to create nearly 3,000 full-time jobs according to a study by Stony Brook University included in a 2016 review on offshore wind farms. President John S. Nader of SUNY Farmingdale wrote in an email that “the environmental and economic benefits to Long Island and the region are vital to our future.”

This collaboration follows another educational initiative between SUNY and the United States Naval Community College (USNCC) establishing a pilot program to enhance naval education and opportunities for sailors, marines, and coastguardsmen.

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